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When it comes to retirement and those golden years, we want to be able to comfortably enjoy our well-earned leisure time. The climate, cost of living, easy access and relaxed lifestyle makes Spain an ever-popular destination for retirees, particularly in the coastal areas.
Spain has been voted amongst the top 10 destinations in the world to retire; and of the British expats in Spain, 41% are over 65’s enjoying their retirement.
Although I grew up in southern Spain, I haven’t lived here for more than 30 years and with retirement looming on the horizon this recent visit reminds me why my parents moved here in the 70’s, and why I am seriously contemplating moving back.
The weather - Whilst writing this on the 28th Dec I am sat outside, although it is only 13ºC, not a cloud in sight and hardly a breeze. I’m peeling my jumper off and even wondering how cold the pool would be if I took a dip. During this Christmas break I am reminded of how mild the winters are. During December the days have 10 hours of daylight and boast an average of 5.2 hours of sunshine per day – not bad!
The Cost of Living - I love my coffee and after my large “café con leche” at a local bar the other morning I was shocked to be charged only €1. With fuel, currently at €1.14 a litre for diesel, I am saving €20 every time I fill the tank. The cost of living is roughly 20% less than the UK which would make the pension go that little bit further assuming the exchange rates are not too unfavourable. Eating out with the family can be a regular event not just a special treat with the local “Ventas” offering great value and quality regional dishes.
Access – Malaga airport connects to 24 UK airports. As retirement offers the luxury of planning, you can book the low-cost carriers well in advance to take advantage of the low prices to nip back and visit friends and family. Malaga also has great connections with many European cities, so it’s ideal for that city break.
Life Style – The mild weather and sunshine just encourages you to get outside. With miles and miles of beaches, and the hills sounding the coast, there are plenty of places to take a stroll and stay fit. The fresh fruit and vegetables make for a healthy diet, topped up with the vitamin D from the sun makes for a pretty healthy lifestyle. Plus, the laid-back approach of the Spanish people makes day to day activities stress free and enjoyable.
Spanish Properties Direct – At Spanish Properties Direct we market properties direct from owner. Why not register with us and see what properties you could enjoy your retirement in.
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Buying or selling property is one of the most important (and probably stressful) legal transactions that people undertake in their lifetime. If you are buying property in Spain, you need to be aware of the Spanish system and be confident that your lawyer has experience dealing with the complex system so that you can go through the process with as little stress and undue cost as possible.
Perez Legal Group has been operating in Spain for over 20 years. With English speaking lawyers, their property team will ensure a smooth legal process, safe investment and a hassle-free experience anywhere in Spain.
Before viewing a property in Spain, Perez Legal Group recommends that you familiarise yourself with these basic guidelines:
- Organise your funds
To reserve a property in Spain, it is customary to place a holding deposit, which will take the property off the market and prevent you from losing it to a third party. The normal amount is 6.000 euros.
- Use local English-speaking lawyers
It is vital that you use an English-speaking lawyer, based in Spain. They will ensure that the property you are buying meets all the necessary legal criteria.
- Get advice
At Perez Legal Group, we provide our clients with a free initial consultation prior to purchase so that you can ask any questions and talk through any concerns.
- Get everything in writing
Never hand over a deposit unless it is accompanied by clear written guarantees, laying down the terms of the sale. Never hand a deposit directly to a private vendor. All reputable agents and developers will hold your deposit in a protected client account.
- Starting the purchase procedure
Whilst your property is reserved, your lawyer can make all the necessary verifications to ensure that the home is clean of any debts or charges. If it is an off-plan property, your lawyer will ensure all the necessary licenses and bank guarantees are in place. After two-three weeks it is customary to exchange contracts, at which time if purchasing a resale property 10% of the purchase value must be paid and if it is a new development, you are required to pay 30-40%, though it will depend on the payment schedule set by the developer.
- Final completion
The property sale is formally completed when the deeds, or “escritura” are signed before a Notary and when the full payment is made. Then the ownership is formally handed over to the buyer.
For more information on buying property in Spain, download Perez Legal Group´s free Guide to Buying in Spain book, written by Raquel Perez who has more than 20 years’ experience people from overseas to buy homes in Spain.
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If you are looking to buy or sell a property in Spain, one of the things to consider carefully should be how you’re going to transfer your money, as the difference in exchange rates can really make a huge difference to the amount this will ultimately cost you. Some buyers and vendors will automatically assume that using their own bank is the simplest and most cost effective way of doing this, however this usually isn’t the case.
Foreign Currency Direct turn over in excess of half a billion Pounds per year and this therefore provides us with far more buying power than an individual alone would have when transferring currency through their bank. In addition to the cost savings that we can offer on your currency exchange, our service is extremely personal and you will have one point of contact here throughout all of your dealings with us. Your personal account manager will take the time to get to know all about your situation, and use their expert knowledge of the markets to keep you informed of exchange rate fluctuations so that you can achieve the most for your money. The average tenure for our traders is over 8 years, and you can use their vast experience to help you navigate the Spanish buying and selling process, whilst helping you to time your currency exchange to trade at the peaks.
Not only do we provide extremely competitive rates of exchange compared to the High Street banks, but we also understand the nuances of the Spanish property market. Having helped thousands of clients to buy and sell properties in Spain, we are perfectly positioned to organise your currency transfer. We can also send payments directly to your Solicitor for your property purchase, or funds can be sent directly from the Solicitor to either our UK or Spanish based Euro bank account following completion of a property sale, all to help you to avoid potential bank charges.
Foreign Currency Direct are authorised by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution, so you can be comfortable knowing that your money is being handled responsibly, whilst being held in segregated accounts which are used to keep your money and company funds completely separate.
We also offer a number of options which are designed to help you to target and capitalise on favourable exchange rates. One option we offer is a forward contract which allows clients to purchase their currency in advance, so that if the exchange rate falls you can feel comfortable that your currency is already secured. This can remove the risk of market volatility which could impact your return significantly, while you wait for your property to complete.